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Gold Tone CC-OT Cripple Creek Openback Banjo (Five String, Vintage Brown)
- Features Genuine Brass Tone Ring, Bound fingerboard, maple rim Maple body, neck
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|Sold By||Amazon.com||Cellar_Door_Books||Butler Music LLC||Amazon.com||Amazon.com||Amazon.com|
|Item Dimensions||2.75 x 39.5 x 12 in||11.75 x 37.75 x 3.75 in||2.75 x 39.5 x 12 in||2.75 x 39.5 x 12 in||17 x 37 x 8 in||2.75 x 39.5 x 12 in|
The Cripple Creek Old Tone (CC-0T) is Gold Tone’s recommended entry level openback banjo. A world above the standard CC-50 model, the CC-0T comes in a complete package designed to learn clawhammer style banjo. They sound and play to way a real openback banjo should! The banjo includes a maple neck, scooped rosewood fingerboard with 5th string capo spike, a Fiberskyn banjo head, No Knot tailpiece, Vega-style armrest, vintage Fairbanks headstock design, and geared tuners. The package also includes a gig bag, a banjo strap, and the popular Bob Carlin Instructional DVD where he discusses the fundamentals of clawhammer banjo techniques and teaches several traditional songs with tablature. With a complete setup at the Gold Tone Factory in Florida, the CC-0T is durable, has low string action, and is a pleasure to learn on!
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Not only that, but despite the item description, it DOES NOT come with a No Knot tailpiece. No Knot tailpieces have a slot that you feed the string into, give it one wrap, pull tight, and done. Hence the name "No Knot". This tailpiece, while looking like a No Knot tailpiece, is missing those slots, which means you are limited to using loop-end strings, or you're going to have to dust off your Boy Scouts manual and relearn a few knot ties. I didn't even notice that these slots were missing on the Gold Tone Faux-No-Knot tailpiece until I went to go install some Aquila Nylgut strings and discovered that there was nowhere to latch them into place.
And customer service? Forget about it. I've emailed Gold Tone numerous times over the past few years and haven't ever received a single response.
Despite all of that, I would definitely recommend this banjo, especially to someone who wants to learn old time/clawhammer/frailing banjo. Why? Because most of what I mentioned is cosmetic (albeit, a LOT of cosmetic issues), none of which effect the playability. And it plays pretty darn well right out of the box. And that's what I like about Gold Tone products. They don't make the best stuff. Then again, they don't pretend to. You know what you're getting when you purchase a Gold Tone. You're getting a decent enough, playable introduction into the world of whatever that particular instrument is. Despite the many issues mine had, this is far from being a junky instrument, which can't be said of most "beginner" instruments. Further, do you really want to take your vintage Gibson or OME banjo out to an all-night campfire jamboree? Yeah, I didn't think so.
Man, am I impressed with this banjo! I purchased it from the Old Town School of Folk Music in Chicago for $299, and it came with a padded gigbag, a strap, an instructional DVD and an alan wrench to adjust the truss rod. The tone on this banjo is excellent, way better than anything in the $300 and lower range, albeit a bit darker. The Gold Tone CC-100 and the Goodtime were a bit brighter because of the Maple wood, while this one is made of mahogany, with a maple neck and rosewood fingerboard. The tuners on this are great, as well. I played mine (I mean struggled to learn how to play mine) for an hour yesterday and it stayed in tune very impressively. After an hour, I tuned it once making only very slight adjustments. Some of the other features include a scoop neck for even mellower folksy style playing and a railroad tie at the seventh fret to capo the drone string.
Overall, I very much like this banjo and while someday as my playing and ear develops, I might acquire something much different, I am thoroughly pleased, highly recommend it, and look forward to playing it for many years to come!